The Rapid Rise of Threads: Twitter’s biggest threat

Meta’s new Threads app is making waves. We can never have enough social media, and we love learning how to use a new platform, right? Riiiight… But Threads’ rapid popularity means it might be a social network here to stay.

In fact, 100 million people signed up for a Threads account in just five days. To put that milestone into perspective, it took ChatGPT over two months to surpass 100 million users. Not only are users signing up in droves, but they’re also posting.

Other Twitter dupes (Hive Social or Blue Sky) have tried to reach the success that Threads has already achieved. Due to its integration with Instagram, it’s incredibly user-friendly to create an account. All you do after downloading the Threads app is click a single button. This will upload your existing Instagram account information (username, profile picture and bio included). Also, you can’t even sign up for Threads unless you have an Instagram.

Many celebrities and brands wasted no time creating accounts, such as Gordon Ramsey, Netflix, Jennifer Aniston and the NBA. Even the Elon Musk Jet tracker is back after Musk personally banned the account from Twitter.

Twitter v. Threads

Twitter’s lifespan and popularity took a shaky hit when Elon Musk bought the platform back in 2022. Ever since the buyout, Musk’s unpopular changes (most recently a daily limit on the amount of tweets you’ll see in your feed) received backlash from users.

With one look at the Threads interface, you can see the eerie similarities to Twitter. On each Thread, you can reply, repost, quote or like the content. If you’re looking for more features, don’t hold your breath. The functionality is purposefully simple. However, there are some missing features that surprised us.

Significantly, we’re wondering where the hashtags are hiding. Since Meta’s other platforms (Instagram and Facebook) have hashtag integrations, we assume that a hashtag feature will be coming soon to Threads. Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri said Threads is not for “hard news,” so we don’t foresee trending topics appearing any time soon.

No sliding into DMs here. Threads doesn’t allow direct or private messages on the platform. Threads’ feed differs too. Unlike Twitter, where users only see content from people they follow on their home page, Threads fills the users’ feeds with recommended content. Lastly, there are no ads.. yet. Zuckerberg said the switch to monetization would happen once the platform is running smoothly and “on a clear path to 1 billion people.” 

Will Threads last?

Previously, The European Union fined Meta $275 million for violating Europe’s privacy laws. Data privacy concerns are no joke, and the app was full-on blocked from launching in the European Union.

Twitter has a notorious reputation for being a negative space littered with fights and complaints. Zuckerberg notes that the key to the newest social platform’s success is to keep it “a friendly place.” We’ve seen a lot of humor and positivity on our own Threads feed, so here’s hoping it stays on track.

This isn’t the first time Meta has copied features from other social media networks to remain authentic. Stories originated in Snapchat. Reels is a copycat feature to compete with TikTok. With authenticity reigning true as a continued 2023 trend, Instagram previously tested out text-sharing in the form of “Notes” before launching Threads.

Threads has all the features needed for any social networking site’s initial launch. You can post photos and videos and share information in real-time. But, will it stand the test of time and continue to be a popular social media platform? Or will it fade to the background, like Clubhouse? We had to Google “audio-only app that launched during the pandemic,” because we forgot its name. We will just have to wait and see.